Written by Yuki Klotz-Burwell
As I laced up my Nikes, put my hair in a ponytail and got into my “athletic” clothes, I tried to think of the last time I had done anything remotely sporty. Besides going to the YMCA once in a blue moon (only when my mother threatened to cancel our membership), the last time I had truly and regularly worked out was during physical education class in freshman and sophomore year. Yet here I was, getting ready to try a cardio kickboxing class at Studio Kicks in Palo Alto.
Going in, I was apprehensive and brought a friend with me, not knowing what the level of exercise would be. Although the class was for beginners, I predicted I was more in need of something along the lines of a “pre-pre-pre- beginners” course. However, as my friend and I stepped on the mat to begin the 45-minute class, I was surprised at how smoothly I was able to handle it.
Music was playing constantly in the studio, so we got right into exercising as soon as the instructor stepped onto the mat. Other students seemed as though they knew what they were doing, so we followed suit by mirroring the motions our teacher was doing, starting with doing jumping jacks while bouncing up and down.
The instructor hardly talked, instead occasionally yelling out instructions such as, “left leg, left leg!” and “to the side, to the right” as he showed us what to do. Although we were active throughout the entirety of those 45 minutes, we were able to go at our own pace. Some members had perfect, high kicks and managed to keep up with the instructor’s quick movements, while others were moving more slowly and doing less intense versions of the actions. I tried my best to match the former group, breathing heavily and feeling my face turning red as I bounced around at the beat of the fast-paced music.
Kickboxing was difficult, but not impossible. I was able to keep up for the most part, taking breaks to slow down when I needed to. After the class was over, I felt exhausted but satisfied; I was proud of the workout I had done and how I had pushed myself. Overall, I got out what I put in. I tried my hardest and got what I wanted out of it. I was looking for a fitness class that offered me the ability to exercise at my own pace while still being disciplined; cardio kickboxing provided me with that. If you are looking for a way to burn some calories, have fun and push yourself, choose kickboxing.